POSTED: 9:01 p.m. HST, Apr 4, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 1:59 a.m. HST, Apr 5, 2014
Andrew Morales tossed 7 1/3 shutout innings and Kris Paulino hit a two-run home run to power UC Irvine past Hawaii, 7-1 on Friday night at Les Murakami Stadium.
Morales (6-0) improved to 16-0 in his career for UC Irvine (19-10, 3-1 Big West), which handed Hawaii (14-14, 2-2) just its third loss in the last 10 games.
Morales allowed seven hits and one walk with four strikeouts in a matchup of the top two pitchers in the conference in ERA.
Hawaii senior Matt Cooper (3-2) allowed a season-high six runs in 6 1/3 innings on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Taylor Sparks went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs and Paulino and Jerry McClanahan each drove in two runs.
Marcus Doi had two hits and Austin Wobrock hit an RBI double in the bottom of the ninth for Hawaii, which was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
UH sophomore L.J. Brewster, who has started 13 games at third base this season, pitched for the first time in his career and struck out the side in the ninth.
The series continues on Saturday night at 6:35.